Firm offers agencies outsourcing help

As agencies become increasingly dependent on vendors for essential functions, they are spurring consulting firms to create new businesses to help the government outsource effectively.

Robbins-Gioia LLC, a consulting firm in Alexandria, Va., is launching a new business that officials call "vendor management." The program, announced March 24, includes tools, processes and expertise to help agencies select vendors, create appropriate management structures, set performance measures, and manage projects and vendors.

The service sounds similar to that offered by Acquisition Solutions Inc., said Senior Vice President Chip Mather. His firm has previously not had much competition, which he said is surprising considering the need. Agencies need to understand principles such as performance-based contracting and often lack the expertise internally, he said.

"There are plenty of people who offer this service. There is a real need for it," he added.

Many agencies spend more money and take more time on projects than necessary because they don't manage the process well, said Jim Leto, Robbins-Gioia's chief executive officer.

"Our clients are doing a lot more outsourcing," said Patricia Davis-Muffett, the firm's vice president of marketing.

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